According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household uses 88 gallons of water per person, per day, with the average family of four spending approximately $1,000 per year on water usage.
That’s a lot of water and money, especially since those numbers also include 9,400 gallons of annual water waste! Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to save water (and money). Here are our top four favorites:
1. Install a Hot Water Recirculating System
The next time you turn on your faucet, think about how long it takes for hot water to come out. Depending on your water pressure, it could take 2-3 minutes. That’s 3-5 gallons of water that you’re paying for, but not using – every time you turn on the faucet!
By investing in hot water recirculating system, you can drastically cut down on the amount of time it takes for hot water to arrive at your faucet and save thousands of gallons of water per year. One of the most common systems involves installing a special circulation pump near your water heater and a network of motion sensors (one near each fixture) that send hot water your way when activated.
2. Fix Slow Leaking Toilets
Slow leaks in a toilet can be difficult to see and often go unnoticed. First, make sure your toilet is flushing correctly. To test for a leak, put 10 drops of food coloring in the toilet tank, wait 10-15 min. If colored water shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
While the fix for this issue is relatively simple, we recommend calling a reputable plumber to take care of it because it’s very easy to end up with a toilet that flushes twice as much water if you attempt to DIY (and you’re trying to SAVE water, not use more).
3. Change Your Shower Head
This one’s a no brainer if you’re looking to save on your water bill. Standard shower heads have a flow rate of 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute), which equals 25 gallons per 10-minute shower. By switching to a low-flow shower head, which typically have flow rates of 1.8-2 GPM, you’ll save at least five gallons of water per person, per day. That’s 140 gallons of water per week for a family of four!
4. Replace Leaking Faucets
A few drops here and a few drops there doesn’t sound like a huge waste of water, does it? In fact, leaky faucets, whether for the kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor hose, can wreak havoc on your water consumption and drive your water bill up. Don’t ignore them!